Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By Parnassus
#1827296
Hello,

I am a 200 hours VFR pilot, not originally from the UK, and have been wondering about IFR for a while.
I would be very keen to be able to climb rapidly from Wycombe/Fairoaks, above weather (and hence in class A).
I have little interest in flying in proper IFR conditions and as such, would limit my flying to VFR Dep/Arr and potentially a layer crossing at say 3000 feet.

I am wondering if the EIR wouldn't be the best rating in my case.

I wanted to have your thoughts on when can you switch IFR after VFR take-off around London (EIR does not cover IFR departure, but can I say depart VFR from Fairoaks, fly 2 minutes and then switch to IFR / enter CAS)

Generally I want to understand if this EIR is suitable to just enjoy the Class A en-route and occasionally cross a layer.

Many thanks.
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By marioair
#1827323
Join PPL/IR.

from Fairoaks you’ll not get a direct clearance to join the LTMA so you’ll be holding OCAS.

The utility of the EIR around LTMA will depend on the route you want to take -you may find you’ll get routed well away from your route and just doing an IFR flight OCAS may not be that much slower
By Lefty
#1827349
There are no convenient IFR departure routes from Wycombe, Waltham or Fairoaks. So whatever ratings you have, you will be forced to fly VFR (below 2400’) for approx the first 20-40nm.

If heading South or SE, you will usually be forced to fly VFR remaining clear of CAS till past Midhurst and then climb into CAS at SAM, GWC or SFD. If going E, you will not be allowed to climb into CAS (@ 2400’) until past BIG or sometimes DET. (Or past LAM towards CLN if going north of the zone). North isn’t too bad, you will usually join CAS just after WCO enroute DTY.

The IR (whichever version) will only come in to play on much longer trips to Europe, Ireland or Scotland.
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By IMCR
#1827362
Do a full IR, but also think how and if you will use the rating, albeit by all means do it just for the challenge.

You mention climbing out of WW in class A. This will be beset will all sorts of practical problems once you have the IR. This will include having an adequate aircraft to perform at the FLs typical for most airways in the UK, with adequate personal equipment, and having places you wish to go that warrant airways travel.

Many pilots with an IR find most of the time for shorter UK flights and especially gaining access to contolled airspace anywhere around London more of a hassle than a benefit.

It is easy to believe that an IR suddenly gives you the freedom to take on a short 100 mile point to point trip in controlled airspace and above the weather with all the advantages that would go with that - unfortunately it doesnt.

With the capability to properly get into the airways, with oxygen and the wish to take trips of a few hundred miles and more then it has many benefits.
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By oldbiggincfi
#1827373
It's the psychological aspect of flying a light aircraft in IMC conditions . Reliance on instruments without visual reference takes some getting used to . No good relying on the auto pilot and if you haven't any spacial awareness .

DON'T bother .
By Parnassus
#1827374
marioair wrote:Join PPL/IR.

from Fairoaks you’ll not get a direct clearance to join the LTMA so you’ll be holding OCAS.

The utility of the EIR around LTMA will depend on the route you want to take -you may find you’ll get routed well away from your route and just doing an IFR flight OCAS may not be that much slower


Thank you so much all for the good answers.

Point taken for the full IR, the theory is the same than EIR so probably worth the extra effort !

For the LTMA practicalities: even with a full IR, I will not get a clearance to say depart from Fairoaks and climb in class A straight away?
Or you were referring to an “en-route” clearance once departed VFR (apologies for lacking the lingo).

And ... what is PPL/IR ? A subforum?

Thanks again :D
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By AndyR
#1827407
Departing VFR and then negotiating entry into Class A IFR is difficult. It can be done, but not easy.

Departing Fairoaks (certainly in normal times) you would be held not above 2400’ for quite a while before being cleared climb into the airways. It’s not difficult, just frustrating at times.

Of course currently, it’s a lot lot easier with very low CAT flows.
By PaulisHome
#1827413
Parnassus wrote:And ... what is PPL/IR ? A subforum?


PPL/IR (pplir.org) is a group of instrument qualified (and those wanting to be) GA pilots who support each other on how to make use of the IFR system in Europe. It costs to join but it's worth every penny.

It has a very good, helpful, Forum, and published a whole series of 'how to' guides on instrument flying and using the system practically (the stuff they don't teach you when you do an IR). It runs the occasional event and does a certain amount of lobbying with EASA and the CAA.

Paul
By chevvron
#1827414
AndyR wrote:Departing VFR and then negotiating entry into Class A IFR is difficult. It can be done, but not easy.

Departing Fairoaks (certainly in normal times) you would be held not above 2400’ for quite a while before being cleared climb into the airways. It’s not difficult, just frustrating at times.

Of course currently, it’s a lot lot easier with very low CAT flows.

Not quite correct.
IFR out of Fairoaks, the Fairoaks FISO will co-ordinate your departure with Farnborough who apart from eastbound departures will in turn co-ordinate a climb with London Control. Farnborough can also do this for IFR departures out of Wycombe or White Waltham provided you make sure your flight plan is addressed to them (you'll need to do this manually or phone them just before you depart as Farnborough only get flight plans for other airfields in their 'group' which is Blackbushe, Fairoaks, Lasham, Dunsfold and Odiham) and you contact them asap after departure
If you really MUST go eastbound via BIG and DET/CLN, you WILL have to expect to remain below controlled airspace for a considerable time as the normal route in the SRD (Standard Route Document) via CLN is via CPT and BPK whereas the normal route via DVR is GWC - SFD . An early climb eastbound is not possible due to the proximity of the Heathrow inbound stacks at OCK and BIG.
Bear in mind also the minimum level to overfly the London TMA is usually something like FL70 or higher depending on the transition level as the sky is full of SIDs from Heathrow and Gatwick so you will need to climb as quickly as possible to this level or higher otherwise you will be radar vectored all over the place.
In any case, do not expect an IFR climb and then be allowed to cruise VMC on top as soon as you are clear of cloud because it is Class A airspace.
Last edited by chevvron on Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By GrahamB
#1827416
chevvron wrote:In any case, do not expect an IFR climb and then be allowed to cruise VMC on top as soon as you are clear of cloud because it is Class A airspace.

You can be in VMC under IFR.

Whether you are or not depends on the conditions, not whether you are ‘allowed to’.
By chevvron
#1827417
GrahamB wrote:
chevvron wrote:In any case, do not expect an IFR climb and then be allowed to cruise VMC on top as soon as you are clear of cloud because it is Class A airspace.

You can be in VMC under IFR.

Whether you are or not depends on the conditions, not whether you are ‘allowed to’.

I was under the impression that in Class A airspace, you have to fly IFR whether VMC or IMC or has this changed since I stopped FISOing at Fairoaks a few years ago :twisted: .
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By GrahamB
#1827421
As one of the Forum’s most dedicated pedants on the subject of the history of ATC around the SW London area, I find it surprising that you continue to confuse VMC and VFR. :clap:
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